Freedom of Expression is Alive

As we know that Nobel Prizes are awarded every year in various categories. One of the most famous categories is the ‘Nobel Peace Prize. Whether it is the Red Cross Society that has won this prize thrice or whether it is the Amnesty International getting it for their deeds. It has always been the talking point at the world level. But, this year specifically the Peace Prize winners are specifically of much more importance and the reason is quite obvious. At a time when Truth and Journalists are being suppressed all over the world so valiantly, in such a time if some keepers of ‘freedom of expression’ are the prize winners, then it should definitely be the talking point.

MARIA RESSA giving voice against DUTERTE

This year one of the winners is Phillippines’ Maria Ressa who is the founder-editor and CEO of digital media company Rappler, which is an investigative journalism and news platform. It has continuously voiced against President Rodrigo Duterte’s violent and oppressive regime especially the infamous war against the very own population in the name of the Anti-Drug campaign. It has also exposed human rights violations, misogyny and corruption by the regime. Other than that, Rappler has also worked towards inculcating awareness against fake news and the unethical use of social media. As a result and on expected lines, there have been numerous politically motivated legal cases running against her. In the Philippines, the regime led by Rodrigo Duterete leads an anti-drug campaign or we can say a Drug War. Well…I guess our NCB has drawn some inspiration from there only. But, the problem arises when in the name of the drug war, thousands of innocents are killed down brutally as being alleged in the Philippines. The alleged killings have faced criticism on the world stage and International Criminal Court has called for a full-blown investigation.

Maria Ressa: Holding the line for media freedom and truth - Archives - IFEX

Rappler was the organization that first came up with shocking investigative images of the brutal killings. Maria herself lives in the Philippines only despite holding US citizenship as well. Maria has blamed the Duterte government for more than 10 arrest warrants coming on her name in less than 2 years and her online feed getting filled with abusive and hateful messages. Here, one thing must be kept in mind that out of the many cases running against her, she is already convicted in a cyber libel case for which she faces up to 6 years of prison and she is currently out on bail. Regarding her personal background, Maria is a pass out from Princeton University and worked at ABS-CBN. She holds specialization and experience in uncovering terrorism in conflict zones against some dangerous names like Al-Qaeda. She is also an author known for her book ‘How to Stand up to a Dictator’ and was declared ‘Times Person of the year 2018’. Maria winning this award is a huge embarrassment for Duterte’s regime as it exposes and validates the allegations against him on the world stage. Duterte has been calling Rappler a ‘fake news outlet’, while Maria has boldly responded saying “I have committed no crime but to speak truth to power”.

Dmitry Andreyevich Muratov up against PUTIN’s Russia

The other winner is Dmitry Andreyevich Muratov, from Russia. He is one of the core founders and editor of the newspaper Novaja Gazeta, which is the most independent and critical newspaper over there. Dmitry Andreyevich Muratovpreviosuly worked at Komsomolskaya newspaper but resigned from there afterwards because of disagreements with his colleagues who didn’t like his style. The newspaper Novaja Gazeta is known for its bold reporting on subjects like corruption, violence, fraud, unfair use of military and unlawful arrests. This has not at all been easy as the paper has faced harassment and threats at a looming scale.

After 22 Years, Novaya Gazeta Editor Dmitry Muratov Steps Down

As many as six journalists associated with the newspaper have been murdered (by You Know Who) for bringing up revelations on the Chechnya War, which is one of the biggest chest-thumping points of the Dark Lord. Not just this, the bodies and heads were sent to the newspaper office. But, even after facing all this not for once did Dmitri bow down. His organisation keeps the martyred in their memory and take inspiration from that to report even boldly. At a time, when even a leaf that falls against PUTIN’s opinion in Russia is tormented, keeping freedom of speech alive there is something too Brave a thing. Interestingly, the Russian government congratulated Dmitry on this award with gritted teeth and Dmitry’s response was “It’s impossible to kill dissent”.

Conclusion: Salute to the Bravehearts

Imagine a country, where you have to write only what the government wants you to write. Where speaking, writing or even thinking anything against the regime is treated as a crime. In such a situation, can you even wonder about running a newspaper or news platform that speaks the truth and is very critical to the government? Well…even if you do, would you continue after a hell of a lot of cases gets filed against you? Now, even if we assume that somehow you wanted to do some ‘Daring’ and you still continue your campaign, but what when many of your journalists who are bringing the raw on-ground reports, are killed by the regime…will you still be in a condition to run your campaign.

I don’t think that even in the wildest dream, someone would be able to show an act of courage like that. But, to the most bewildered of the situations, there are people like them…and it’s because of people like them only that we are able to hold out terms like Freedom of Expression and Democracy. Because, the way Extremism and Authoritarianism are rising in the whole world, these words could have gone extinct long back. So, that’s it guys I think that we should all salute these people who are fighting against all odds so that the weak remain entitled to the Freedom of Expression. And…as a wise man has said “All fights are not fought for winning, some are also fought to show the world that someone was there fighting”.



Don’t miss my posts!

We don’t spam!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *